It’s pretty safe to say the biggest winner of the NBA Trade Deadline is second-year guard Isaiah Canaan.
While he might not be the answer for the Philadelphia 76ers (Yes, that was an Allen Iverson pun.) the team felt confident enough in him to trade away starting point guard, Michael Carter-Williams. Whether or not the team is looking at Canaan as a building block for the future, or just a temporary piece, he is now the team’s starter.
Canaan was a borderline All-American at Murray State, leading the Racers to a 31-2 record for the 2011-12 season. He was named a finalist for the Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson awards. Canaan would go on to play one more year at Murray State. As a result, he posted the best scoring average of his collegiate career with 21.8 points per game.
Despite his college accomplishments, Canaan wasn’t selected in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft. The Houston Rockets selected him in the second round with the 34th overall pick.
Canaan spent most of his rookie season in the NBA’s Development League, but got a lengthy call-up by the Houston Rockets during the early part of the 2014-15 season when starting guard Patrick Beverly succumbed to injury.
On November 26th, Canaan scored a career high 24 points against the Sacramento Kings. Two days later he suffered a left ankle sprain forcing him to miss several weeks. Canaan returned to lead the D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers with 21 pints and 8.5 assists.
With Canaan’s move to Philadelphia he now has the chance to prove his D-League numbers can translate to the NBA. Philadelphia General Manager Sam Hinkie believes Canaan will be able to develop into a worthy option for the 76ers.
“I suspect he’ll play quite well. I don’t want to oversell him after trading our starting point guard. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him. He’s an interesting prospect and he’s anything but a throw-in. He’s a player we chased in the draft with a similar zeal we had in chasing other players. He’s someone we have high hopes for.”
So, maybe Canaan could be the answer for Philadelphia. You never know, he could be the next Iverson.